Politics Is Obsessed With Virtue Signalling

Virtue-Signalling RIDLEY.jpeg

“Policies are chosen according to whether they mean well, not whether they work. From the climate accord to badger culling, we increasingly judge policies by intentions rather than achievements.”

MATT RIDLEY writes an excellent piece in The Times Of London that drills down into the ‘seeming good is more important than doing good’ sickness that has infected modern Western politics with perilous results…


Politics is obsessed with virtue signalling

From the climate accord to badger culling, we increasingly judge policies by intentions rather than achievements

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THE curse of modern politics is an epidemic of good intentions and bad outcomes. Policy after policy is chosen and voted on according to whether it means well, not whether it works. And the most frustrated politicians are those who keep trying to sell policies based on their efficacy, rather than their motives. It used to be possible to approach politics as a conversation between adults, and argue for unfashionable but effective medicine. In the 140-character world this is tricky (I speak from experience).

The fact that it was Milton Friedman who said “one of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results” rather proves the point. He was one of the most successful of all economists in getting results in terms of raising living standards, yet is widely despised today by both the left and centre as evil because he did not bother to do much virtue signalling.

The commentator James Bartholomew popularised the term “virtue signalling” for those who posture empathetically but emptily. “Je suis Charlie” (but I won’t show cartoons of the prophet), “Refugees welcome” (but not in my home) or “Ban fossil fuels” (let’s not talk about my private jet). You see it everywhere. The policies unveiled at the [UK] Conservative Party conference show that the party is aware of this and (alas) embracing it. On student fees, housing costs and energy bills, the Tories proposed symbolic changes that would do nothing to solve the underlying problem, indeed might make them worse in some cases, but which at least showed they cared. I doubt it worked. They ended up sounding like pale imitations of Labour, or doing political dad-dancing.

“Our election campaign portrayed us as a party devoid of values,” said Robert Halfon MP in June.

“The Labour Party now has circa 700,000 members that want nothing from the Labour Party but views and values they agree with,” lamented Ben Harris-Quinney of the Bow Group last week. I think that what politicians mean by “values” is “intentions”.

The forgiving of good intentions lies behind the double standard by which we judge totalitarians. Whereas fascists are rightly condemned in schools, newspapers and social media as evil, communists get a much easier ride, despite killing more people. “For all its flaws, the Communist revolution taught Chinese women to dream big,” read a New York Times headline last month.

“For all its flaws, Nazi Germany did help bring Volkswagen and BMW to the car-buying public,” replied one wag on Twitter.

Imagine anybody getting away with saying of Mussolini or Franco what John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn said of Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez. The reason for this double standard is the apparently good intentions of communist dictators: unlike Nazis, communists were at least trying to make a workers’ paradise; they just got it wrong. Again and again and again.

Though Jeremy Corbyn is a leading exponent, elevating intentions over outcomes is not entirely a monopoly of the left. It is something that the coalition government kept trying, in emulation of Tony Blair. Hugging huskies and gay marriage were pursued mainly for the signal they sent, rather than for the result they achieved. (Student loans, to be fair, were the opposite.) Indeed, George Osborne’s constant talk of austerity, while increasing spending in real terms, was an example of the gap between intention and outcome, albeit less sugar-coated.

I can draw up a list as long as your arm of issues where the road to failure is paved with counter-productive benevolence. Gordon Brown’s 50p top tax rate brought in less tax from the richest. Banning fox hunting has led to the killing of more foxes. Opposition to badger culls made no ecological sense, for cattle, hedgehogs, people — or badger health. Mandating a percentage of GDP for foreign aid was a virtuous gesture that causes real inefficiency and corruption — and (unlike private philanthropy) also tended to transfer money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.

Or take organic farming, which has been shown repeatedly to produce trivial or zero health benefits, while any environmental benefits are grossly outweighed by the low yields that mean it requires taking more land from nature. Yet the BBC’s output on farming is dominated by coverage of the 2 per cent of farming that is organic, and is remorselessly obsequious. Why? Because organic farmers say they are trying to be nice to the planet.

My objection to wind farms is based on the outcome of the policy, whereas most people’s support is based largely on the intention. There they stand, 300ft tall, visibly advertising their virtue as signals of our commitment to devotion to Gaia. The fact that each one requires 150 tonnes of coal to make, that it needs fossil fuel back-up for when the wind is not blowing, that it is subsidised disproportionately by poor people and the rewards go disproportionately to rich people, and that its impact on emissions is so small as to be unmeasurable — none of these matter. It’s the thought that counts.

The Paris climate accord is one big virtue-signalling prayer, whose promises, if implemented, would make a difference in the temperature of the atmosphere in 2100 so small it is practically within the measuring error. But it’s the thought that counts. Donald Trump just does not care.

One politician who has always refused to play the intention game is Nigel Lawson. Rather than rest on the laurels of his political career, he has devoted his retirement to exposing the gap between rhetoric and reality in two great movements: European integration and climate change mitigation. In his book An Appeal to Reason, he pointed out that on the UN’s official forecasts, climate change, unchecked, would mean the average person will be 8.5 times as rich in 2100 as today, rather than 9.5 times if we stopped the warming. And to achieve this goal we are to punish the poor of today with painful policies? This isn’t “taking tough decisions”; this is prescribing chemotherapy for a cold.

Yet the truth is, Lord Lawson and I and others like us have so far largely lost the argument on climate change entirely on the grounds of intentions. Being against global warming is a way of saying you care about the future. Not being a headless chicken — however well argued your case — leads to accusations you do not care.

The Times

(Climatism bolds)

Politics is obsessed with virtue signalling | Comment | The Times & The Sunday Times

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More Must Read Matt Ridley :

 

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THE “Blizzard Of Oz” That Wasn’t Meant To Be

Blizzard of Oz.jpg

Australian snowfields rejoice after ‘Blizzard of Oz’ turns slopes into winter wonderland

via ABC.net.au

It’s been dubbed “the Blizzard of Oz”, and powder hounds could not be happier.

Australia’s ski resorts in the Snowy Mountains, in New South Wales, and Victoria’s Alpine National Park were covered with the white stuff this morning after both reported the best falls of the season at the weekend.

More than 1.15 metres of snow has been dumped at Thredbo from Friday morning to 6:00am today.

Blizzard of Oz1.jpgPHOTO: More than 1.15 metres of snow has been dumped at Thredbo. (Instagram: @_carlyt) Blizzard of Oz2.jpg

PHOTO: Mt Hotham, in Victoria’s Alpine National Park, looked more like Europe at the weekend. (Instagram: @sarahwhite2017)Blizzard of Oz3.jpgPHOTO: The snow at Falls Creek. (Instagram: @fallscreek)

Australian snowfields rejoice after ‘Blizzard of Oz’ turns slopes into winter wonderland – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
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BUT, wasn’t ‘snowfall’ meant to be “a very rare and exciting event.” And, that “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.” ?

Those expert predictions made back in 2000 by esteemed climatologist Dr David Viner of the UK’s CRU (Climate Research Unit):

From the Independent’s most cited article: “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past” by Charles Onians:

However, the warming is so far manifesting itself more in winters which are less cold than in much hotter summers. According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.

“Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

THE Independent has since removed the article! The page used to look like this:

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The original article:

snowfall-thing-of-the-past-original

Link now boots back to their homepage.

Our friends at WUWT have preserved the entire article as a PDF for posterity:

Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past – The Independent (PDF)

In fairness, perhaps the good Dr Viner was colluding consulting with the virtuous partners of climate catastrophe expertise – the UN IPCC who, as well, predicted diminished snowfalls as human CO2 increased…

ipcc-less-snow

IPCC Third Assessment Report – Climate Change 2001 – Complete online versions | GRID-Arendal – Publications – Other

warmer-winters-ipcc

IPCC – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Australia’s “premier” scientific government organisation, the (warmist) CSIRO, jumped on the “end of snow” bandwagon in August 2003:

Simulations of future snow conditions in the Australian alpine regions were prepared for the years 2020 and 2050…

Conclusion:

The low impact scenario for 2020 has a minor impact on snow conditions. Average season lengths are reduced by around five days. Reductions in peak depths are usually less than 10%, but can be larger at lower sites (e.g. Mt Baw Baw and Wellington High Plains).

The high impact scenario for 2020 leads to reductions of 30-40 days in average season lengths.  At higher sites such as Mt Hotham, this can represent reductions in season duration of about 25%, but at lower sites such as Mt Baw Baw the reduction can be more significant (up to 60%)…

We have very high confidence (at least 95%) that the low impact scenarios will be exceeded and the high impact scenarios will not be exceeded.

https://www.climatechange.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/73212/TheImpactofClimateChangeonSnowConditions2003.pdf 

(Page Not Found – LOL !)

In 2014, the New York Times signalled “The End of Snow”:ScreenHunter_314 Feb. 07 11.00

The End of Snow? – NYTimes.com

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BACK IN THE REAL WORLD

Winter Northern Hemisphere snow extent is trending upwards, and 2017 was amongst the highest on record, despite rising CO2 emissions and the “Hottest Year Evah” thing:

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Rutgers University Climate Lab :: Global Snow Lab

AND as for the expert predictions of the CSIRO, who assured us of the end of snow by 2020/2030…

Australia’s snowfields have been overdosed by snow over the past decade.

In fact, SH snow extent is increasing as global CO2 rises – the exact opposite of what you were told by all those experts

2016 – Extended season:

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Heavy snow forecast for the Australian Alps despite ski season ending a month ago

2017 – THE “Blizzard Of Oz” ! :

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Blizzards close in on Melbourne, floods hit South Australia | The Australian

WHEN will those expert scientists, esteemed government agencies and respected mainstream media outlets who peddle the fake global warming catastrophe, spreading scientific falsehoods with impunity, be held to account? Or at least admit they got it wrong?

That “science” certainly ain’t “settled”.

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UPDATE – August 8, 2017

Emergency services warn of avalanches in Victoria’s alpine region

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Click to Play…

EMERGENCY services have issued an avalanche warning for Victoria’s alpine region as tourists have been urged to avoid skiing, snowboarding, or hiking in remote areas.

Warmer weather and strong wind is expected to increase the risk of avalanches at Mt Bogong, mt feathertop, Mt Buller, Mt Hotham and Falls Creek today.

Victorian alpine region: avalanche warning issued for skiers, snowboarders | Herald Sun

DO hope SMH’s (Fairfax media) resident global warming catastrophist Peter Hannam has received this alert, if he plans to visit Australia’s ski fields. The one’s that he and those expert scientists say won’t be around much longer thanks to you and your SUV…

Snowy retreat: Climate change puts Australia’s ski industry on a downhill slope

Peter Hannam Peter Hannam

August 5 – Last week’s fake news – Sydney Morning Herald

Australia’s ski resorts face the prospect of a long downhill run as a warming climate reduces snow depth, cover and duration. The industry’s ability to create artificial snow will also be challenged, scientists say.

Snowy retreat: Climate change puts Australia’s ski industry on a downhill slope

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UPDATE September 8 :

Perisher Ski Resorts elated with #BlizzardOfOz3…

More Than 130cm of Snow – Best in 17 years!

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Related :

CSIRO Dud-Predictions Related :

 


UN IPCC : “Long-Term Prediction of Future Climate States Is Not Possible.”

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UN IPCC TAR 2001 

Working Group I: The Scientific Basis

Executive Summary

“The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

https://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/501.htm

AND YET we base trillions upon trillions of dollars of other peoples (your) money on Paris COP junkets to formulate “Save The Planet” policy, windmills and solar panels that are supposed to curb (man-made) Global Warming Climate Change to below an arbitrary ‘2 degrees C’ by 2100.

Insanity by their very own words and deeds.

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Related :


THE Climate Change Farce Explained By Two Expert “Scientists”

Holdren Obama Sicence Czar

John Holdren – Barack Hussein Obama’s Science Czar

“A massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States…De-development means bringing our economic system (especially patterns of consumption) into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation…Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is absolutely essential, if a decent life is to be provided for every human being.” – John Holdren

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If you’re relatively familiar with the climate “debate”, you will know that the rapid cooling period from the 1940’s to the 1970’s led to climate “experts” (climate scientists) declaring the end of life as we know it, in the form of the “Global Cooling” scare:

A few examples (And apologies if these sound all too familiar with the current global warming climate change scare) :

1. In 1976 the CIA warned that (man-made) Global Cooling would bring – “Drought, Starvation, Social Unrest And Political Upheaval”:

CIA 1974 Global Cooling.jpg

21 Jul 1976 – C.I.A. WARNING – Trove

2. The UN was so concerned about man-made Global Cooling during the 1970’s that they wanted to melt the Arctic by spreading black soot on it:

UN Black Soot Arctic 1970s.jpg

02 Feb 1972 – Scientists fear for Arctic Sea ice – Trove

3. Our featured climate expert ‘John Holdren’ predicted and feared a new “Ice Age” during the 1970’s Global Cooling scare:

John Holdren Global Cooling Scare 1.jpg

John Holdren Global Cooling Scare 2

John Holdren in 1971: “New ice age” likely · zomblog

(Interestingly, the link to Holdren’s global cooling hysteria no longer exists)

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Now time to introduce our second climate change “Expert” (UN climate scientist) – Dr Stephen Schneider…

Steve Schneider pleaded with President Nixon for funding in order to halt the feared Global Cooling crisis of the 1970’s:

1971

Schneider Global Cooling Nixon.jpg

1977

Schneider global cooling scare

http://www.nytimes.com/1976/07/18/archives/the-genesis-strategy-a-chilling-prospect.html?_r=0

Four years later (1981) Professor Stephen Schneider became a Global Warming alarmist:

Published: August 22, 1981

A team of Federal scientists says it has detected an overall warming trend in the earth’s atmosphere extending back to the year 1880. They regard this as evidence of the validity of the ”greenhouse” effect, in which increasing amounts of carbon dioxide cause steady temperature increases.

The seven atmospheric scientists predict a global warming of ”almost unprecedented magnitude” in the next century. It might even be sufficient to melt and dislodge the ice cover of West Antarctica, they say, eventually leading to a worldwide rise of 15 to 20 feet in the sea level. In that case, they say, it would ”flood 25 percent of Louisiana and Florida, 10 percent of New Jersey and many other lowlands throughout the world” within a century or less.

A leading participant in past carbon dioxide studies has been Dr. Stephen H. Schneider of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.

STUDY FINDS WARMING TREND THAT COULD RAISE SEA LEVELS – NYTimes.com

And yes, nowadays, expert scientist John Holdren (Obama’s former science Czar), just like his comrade Professor Stephen Schneider, fears not man-made Global Cooling but Global Warming:

1997: John Holdren predicts ten degrees warming:

John Holdren 10 deg warming.jpg

The Free Lance-Star – Google News Archive Search

I don’t blame them for changing the name to “Climate Change” – covers all bases.

The perfect scam: Hot, cold, wet, dry, flood, drought, whatever – it’s all your fault…

Bigger, smaller, whatever. It’s global warming | Climatism

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Hottest Arctic Hype

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

image

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/13/hottest-arctic-record-triggers-massive-ice-melt/amp/

There has been a concerted effort in the last few days to run the latest Arctic scare story, such as this one in the Telegraph:

The Arctic shattered heat records in the past year as unusually warm air triggered massive melting of ice and snow and a late fall freeze, US government scientists said on Tuesday.

The grim assessment came in the Arctic Report Card 2016, a peer-reviewed document by 61 scientists around the globe issued by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The NOAA report covers from October 2015 to September 2016, a period it said the Arctic’s average annual air temperature over land was the highest on record.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/13/hottest-arctic-record-triggers-massive-ice-melt/amp/

The use of the word “heat”, has become prevalent lately, all designed to put slightly warmer weather into a bad light. All I can say to the writer of this article is that…

View original post 185 more words


Great Barrier Reef Expert : Don’t Trust Climate Alarmists

Professor Ridd - Great Barrier Reef .png

“We have got to a point now where a large fraction of the science that we see cannot be relied upon.” Professor Ridd (Source – Sky News)

STRAIGHT-TALKING James Cook University marine geophysicist, Professor Peter Ridd has been an outspoken critic of the relentless tide of fear-mongering, misinformation and anti-science hysteria coming from climate change activists concerning the health of the Great Barrier Reef.

In June this year, Ridd made the headlines after suspecting something was wrong with photographs being used to highlight the apparent rapid decline of the Great Barrier Reef.

After attempting to blow the whistle on the bogus pictures, Ridd was censured by James Cook University and threatened with the sack…

After a formal investigation, Professor Ridd was found guilty of “failing to act in a collegial way and in the academic spirit of the institution”!

His crime was to encourage questioning of two of the nation’s leading reef institutions, the Centre of Excellence for Coral Studies and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, on whether they knew that photographs they had published and claimed to show long-term collapse of reef health could be misleading and wrong.” Graham Lloyd – The Australian – 11 June 2016

Similar totalitarian treatment was dished out by free-thinking James Cook University to the late and great Bob Carter, a former JCU adjunct Professor. Carter was a world renowned climate change expert and sceptic. His crime – speaking outside the permitted doctrine of global warming climate change.

JCU caves in to badgering and groupthink — blackballs “politically incorrect” Bob Carter « JoNova 

Don’t Trust Alarmist Scientists 

Speaking to Andrew Bolt on Sky News’ The Bolt Report, Professor Ridd says you can’t trust alarmist scientists who claim the Great Barrier Reef is dying, thanks to man-made warming.

Watch:

(Click picture to view video || 1m:19s length)

Ridd The Bolt Report Sky News.png

“When you go back over the science and check it, you find that about half the time the work is wrong.” – Professor Peter Ridd JCU

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Great Barrier Reef scare related :


NSIDC Confirm Low Arctic Ice Due To Influx Of Warm Atlantic Water

Great analysis by Paul Homewood explaining the “SUPER HOT” Arctic atmosphere, that has become the latest, hysterical climate (weather) event of the month pushed by climate alarmists.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

osisaf_nh_iceextent_daily_5years_en

http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php

There has been increasing hysteria from global warming alarmists lately about polar sea ice trends.

So let’s start with the Arctic, where sea ice extent, despite some unusually, but certainly not unprecedented, mild weather in the last couple of months, has been tracking close to 2012.

View original post 843 more words